Our classmate Aiden is one of our Saskatoon experts in 2B as we learn about prairie communities in Canada this year. Last weekend he was in Saskatoon, and his family very thoughtfully brought back some Saskatoon jam for us! The students loved learning more about the berry that Saskatoon gets its name from, and even moreso loved the tasty treat from Aiden's family!
We've been working on estimating in Math this week, including talking about how our estimates need to be informed and logical but not perfect, using referents (a smaller group of objects) to make an accurate estimate, and comparing our estimates to our counts. We also used skip counting strategies to more accurately and efficiently large groups of items. There are some great number sense and estimating gurus in our class!
We’ve started coding in our class, which means that we’re telling a computer, app, phone, or website what we want it to do. This week we used an app called Lightbot and a some robots named Dash and Dot to practice our skills in communicating, solving complex problems, and thinking logically and critically. The class found designing repeating patterns using Dash and Dot especially fun!
As this CBC article reports, "Today, computing is involved in almost all aspects of our lives, from communications and education to social media, banking, information, security and shopping. Networked computers are capable of controlling our homes’ thermostats and lighting, our cars and our health records... Computational thinking allows preschoolers to grasp concepts like algorithms, recursion and heuristics—even if they don’t understand the terms, they’ll learn the basic concepts."
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Cathy Adams at the U of A on some research during my Education degree, and she was recently interviewed here and here about coding in our new curriculum, saying: ""This is not about raising a generation of coders, but about educating a new generation of creative, engaged and ethical citizens who are able to understand, participate and critically evaluate the new digital landscapes that we are increasingly working, playing and living in."
You can read more about the thinking behind students being exposed to coding here, and we will keep you updated on our further adventures in coding!
We've been busy with numbers up to 100 recently in Math, whether we were skip counting with money (a big highlight), investigating even and odd numbers, counting toothpicks like Raymond from Rain Man, and using ordinal numbers to describe objects (such as first, second, 3rd, 4th). The students were expert money counters, and felt quite prepared to spend their pretend money! If you'd like more practice at home with numbers to 100, the linked games below are focused on some of our learner outcomes for this unit.
In Science this week, we explored different magnets’ north and south poles, which materials are transparent to the magnetic force, different magnetic devices, and examined magnetic fields. The students enjoyed making a temporary magnet with a nail, and used various devices to view the effects of invisible magnetic fields. Stay tuned for our upcoming magnetic device project!
2B has been working through a Health curriculum called Zones of Regulation, and the students have really taken to it! The Zones is an approach used to teach students self-regulation by categorizing al the different ways we feel and states of alertness into four zones. As the Zones of Regulation website explains:
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger, rage, explosive behavior, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has some control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.
The Zones can be compared to traffic signs. When given a green light or in the Green Zone, one is “good to go”. A yellow sign means be aware or take caution, which applies to the Yellow Zone. A red light or stop sign means stop, and when one is the Red Zone, this often is the case. The Blue Zone can be compared to the rest area signs where one goes to rest or re-energize. All of the zones are expected at one time or another, but the curriculum focuses on teaching students how to manage their Zone based on the environment and people around them. For example, when playing on the playground or in an active/competitive game, no one would think twice about one being in the Yellow Zone but that would not be same in the library.
Stay tuned for more of our learning on our Zones of Regulation!
In Math, we are beginning a new focus on numbers up to 100 and solving word problems. This unit will focus on deepening your child’s understanding of number relationships, counting, and place value. Below you can find a game and video we've been playing to get this unit off to a fun start!
The learning goals for this unit are to:
You can help your child achieve these goals with the following activities at home:
The writers of 2B have been goal-setting to hone their skills this week, and every day they've been assessing their daily writing. This week we've been focusing on punctuation, capitalization, and syntax, and soon we will be adding ideas, sentence fluency, and organization to what we're looking at in our writing. We have a rubric to assess our writing, and the students started out assessing their own writing in three areas according to that rubric. At the end of the week we started assessing our peers' writing which the students really enjoyed! It's important that we are respectful and constructive when giving peers feedback, and the students have demonstrated that in these writing conversations. It's neat to see growth in the class' writing already!
Mrs. Barker is a grade two teacher at Millgrove School. She loves science and reading, and lives in a little brick house with Mr. Barker and her kids Jack and Ellie.